Deadly Infatuation

God, I love him, I thought as I looked across the room at him. I can't stand it.

Ryan and I had become friends only a couple months ago, but I instantly fell in love with him. It felt so strange, and I tried to deny it for weeks, even though it was so obvious. When he had first moved to our little hick town, I immediately decided he was a

show-offy, egotistical idiot. In fact, I still thought so. The only difference was that now I was in love with him.

I didn't have a single doubt that it was true love. I was having stronger feelings than I'd ever had before, about anything. I thought he loved me, too. After all, he would flirt with me nonstop, and sometimes he would put his hand on my knee. Actually, he did that a lot. Never having been in love before, I thought that this meant he loved, or at least liked, me back. Then one day I heard the rumor.

"Ryan has a girlfriend."

"What?" I couldn't believe my ears. "Are you sure? Who is it?"

"Yeah, I'm sure. It's some girl, I think her name's Jackie."

I almost burst into tears. I was in agony for the next three days, wondering if the rumor was true. Sure enough, it was. He had started dating his best friend, Jackie Zeigler, only the day before I had heard about it. I was upset about it, for it made me face the fact that I couldn't have a relationship with Ryan. The worst part was, I had band practice that day, and I sat right next to Ryan. I mean right next to him, too, so close our knees touched.

I was resting my lip and trying to ignore him while our band director lectured the flutes on how they actually had to play in the right key, when I felt his knee nudge mine. I glanced at him out of the corner of my eye, but ignored him. It was probably a mistake, I thought. Why would he flirt with me? He has a girlfriend. A second later I felt another nudge, but this time he rubbed his knee against mine. I turned to face him. "Yes?"

"Meet me after practice, okay?"

"Alright." I didn't let my voice betray the confusion I felt.

When the band director let us out for lunch, Ryan waited for me to put my trumpet away. As I stood up, he beckoned casually. "Follow me." I followed him silently into the hall. He waited until the hall was empty before he led me over to a little cubby in the wall, about five feet wide and three feet deep. He looked around once to make sure no one was still around, and then ducked into it, pulling me in. He put out a finger and stroked my arm gently, giving me chills. He tucked my long brown hair behind my ear with his other hand, and then let both of them travel slowly down my body. As they settled on my waist, I put a hand on his chest and looked up at him.

"Wait," I said hesitantly. "What about Jackie?"

"Forget her," he said. "I never even liked her. You're the one I want."

I melted. These were the words I had been dying to hear for the past three months, and I didn't care if Ryan had a girlfriend, as long as he said them. I had always had principles and had always sworn never to cheat, but those principles no longer mattered.

Ryan pulled me towards him, but I didn't resist. Our lips locked. He stroked my back as we made out. After a long time we finally pulled our lips apart, though it had only felt like a few seconds to me. We had to stop, though, or Jackie would get suspicious and come looking for her boyfriend.

This was the way things went for the next few weeks. Ryan and I constantly were dodging into dark corners or empty hallways between classes to avoid being seen together, and Jackie never caught on. It didn't really bother me too much that Ryan hadn't broken up with Jackie yet, and besides, it was thrilling to sneak around with another girl's man behind her back.

Then one day I didn't see Ryan at our normal hideout near the band room. I was slightly worried, but I figured that maybe he forgot. I kept walking towards my next class. As I turned the corner, I saw Jackie standing in the hall with a guy with brown, spiky hair. It was Ryan, and they were kissing! His back was towards me, and Jackie's eyes were closed, so they didn't see me there. I quickly noticed that we were the only three people in the hallway. As I became filled with a jealous rage, I remembered the knife in my purse. My dad had given it to me as a birthday present, "for emergencies." Well, this was an emergency. I whipped it out of my purse and flipped it open in one movement. Marching up to them, I raised the knife and plunged it into his back, dragging it downward. Jackie shrieked as he bit her lip in pain. Blood was spurting out of his back, and I took a split second to take pleasure in the sight before pulling the knife out with a sickening squish. I spun around and stuck the knife between Jackie's ribs, puncturing her lung and killing her in the process. She fell over, losing her hold on Ryan. I caught Ryan and let her body fall to the ground. I had originally planned to stab Ryan in the back and leave him to bleed, but he was still alive, and there was one more way I could torture him.

I dragged Ryan into the girls' bathroom, holding the knife near his eyes so he wouldn't shout. I sat him on a toilet in one of the stalls. Grabbing a lot of toilet paper, I wound it around his wrists, ankles, and mouth, gagging him and binding him to the toilet in the process. Then I carefully cleaned my knife. After all, I didn't want Jackie's blood to mix with Ryan's perfect blood.

I plunged the knife into Ryan's chest, cutting out a circular flap of skin and bone. He writhed in agony, unable to scream, his eyes wide with horror. I looked straight into his chocolate-colored eyes.

"Bye, bye, sweetie." Then I reached into the hole in his chest and ripped his heart out with my bare hand. He stiffened; his back arched, for a split second, and then went limp. He was dead, but his heart was still beating in my hand. Slowly I squeezed it, throttling the last breath of life out of Ryan Mills. I gently wrapped it in tissue and threw it in the little garbage can inside of the stall, then washed my hands calmly and went home.